Starting in 1998, the Carbon Defense League (CDL) reverse-engineered the Nintendo Gameboy by hacking the game cart, uploading their own game, and returning it to the store. Kids bought the game, called Super Kid Fighter, becoming producers of their own medium. The CDL spoke and held workshops at hacker conferences, like HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) and Madhack Conference in Barcelona.
In 2003, the CDL created Re-code.com. Nearly identical to Priceline.com, the site let people truly name their own price on retail goods by printing out custom barcodes and then using self-scanners to check out. The project didn't go quietly: it won “Best Of” at the Slovenia Media Arts Festival and at the Transmediale Festival in Berlin. It was also featured on CNN, Salon.com, ABC News, and USA Today.
In 2006, Deeplocal spun out of mapping software research work that the company’s founder and CEO was leading at Carnegie Mellon University. Building on a ten year history of hacking electronics and manipulating the mainstream media, Deeplocal is able to employ its unique brand of “gutter technology” to create engaging real world experiences that ignore boundaries between technologies, digital space, and the physical world.
In 2009, Deeplocal worked with W+K Portland to build the Nike Chalkbot, a tweet-fed, chalk-spraying hydraulic robot that traveled the roads of the Tour de France printing messages of inspiration for the Livestrong Foundation. The project drew contributions from thousands of people worldwide with no traditional advertising expense and swept industry award shows, winning a Grand Prix at Cannes, a Webby, an Andy, a Clio, and many others. It was Deeplocal’s first advertising project.
Since Nike Chalkbot, Deeplocal has created numerous other award-winning projects that span hardware, software, mobile, design, and PR. The company has become synonymous with innovation and CEO Nathan Martin speaks about Deeplocal’s processes at events around the world. In 2011, Deeplocal was named Ad Age Small Agency of the Year, Northeast.